Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Mission Possible? High School Math Instruction and At-Risk Students
Jane Finn, Ed.D; Vicki-Lynn Holmes, Ph.D; Jane Finn

This qualitative study investigated math educators' perceptions of the curriculum and their perceived qualifications to teach these high school math requirements to at-risk and special education populations. To understand the effect of these mathematics requirements (most states requiring all students to complete four years of mathematics, including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and one additional senior math course), ten math educators participated in two focus groups and one-on-one interviews. Findings showed these teachers believe (a) that classroom instruction will change, (b) that new stressors in terms of money, time, and focus have emerged, and (c) the feelings of being under-qualified to effectively teach the math curriculum to students with high incident disability labels have increased. To combat stress and feelings of inadequacy, future professional development to improve content and/or pedagogical skillsets was requested.

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